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Alberta Diary

David Climenhaga, author of the Alberta Diary blog, is a journalist, author, journalism teacher, poet and trade union communicator who has worked in senior writing and editing positions with the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Calgary Herald. His 1995 book, A Poke in the Public Eye, explores the relationships among Canadian journalists, public relations people and politicians. He left journalism after the strike at the Calgary Herald in 1999 and 2000 to work for the trade union movement. Alberta Diary focuses on Alberta politics and social issues.

Blog - Alberta Diary May 10
Calgary Police arrest political cleric Artur Pawlowski on Saturday for defying public health orders. Image: Screenshot of YouTube video
David J. Climenhaga | The latest arrests may not seem like much, but whatever the explanation they represent something of a sea change for the Kenney government and police.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 6
Edmonton Strathcona MP Heather McPherson during yesterday's emergency debate on COVID-19 in Alberta. Image: Screenshot of House of Commons video
David J. Climenhaga | Despite a string of daily news conferences intended to restore confidence in its foundering COVID-19 performance, the Kenney government appears to have lost control of the narrative.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 5
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at his 9.5-minute speaking appearance yesterday evening. Image: Screenshot of Alberta Government video
David J. Climenhaga | Unlike the premier, Opposition Leader Rachel Notley entertained questions from reporters, telling them it sounded as if Kenney was "making it up on the fly." It's hard to dispute that assessment.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 4
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's COVID-19 news conference. Image: Screenshot of Alberta Government video
David J. Climenhaga | Reporter: "How can you not shoulder some blame for things getting this out of hand?" Alberta Premier Jason Kenney: "I reject the premise of your question."
Blog - Alberta Diary May 3
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It would be fair to say, in that venerable Canadian political phrase, there was a fury in the land at the United Conservative Party's decision to cut and run in the face of bad COVID-19 news.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 2
Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's premier appears to be more worried about what a group of 17 COVID-denying UCP MLAs might do than the health of the province's citizens.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 30
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's COVID-19 news conference. Image credit: Winston Pon/Office of the Premier, Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | As for those "targeted regional measures," this is a misleading characterization. "Targeted regional exceptions" would be a more accurate term.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 29
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks to media about expansion projects at Calgary’s Rockyview General Hospital. Image credit: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | You'd have to be the premier of Alberta or a member of his UCP caucus not to think this is a catastrophe. If you want to set records as a province, these really aren't the kind you want to break.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 28
Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It's reasonable to assume the committee is intended to provide and justify the excuses the UCP will need to keep Alberta out of what is sure to be an enormously popular program.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 27
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's COVID news conference. Image credit: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | We Albertans are now living in a petri dish, an ongoing experiment in how well the Great Barrington Declaration really works. It doesn't look good.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 26
Progress Alberta Executive Director and now Senate "nominee" candidate Duncan Kinney. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Senate nominee "election" progressive candidate Duncan Kinney will offer Alberta voters disgusted with the antics and incompetence of the Kenney government a way to express their disillusionment now.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 25
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley surrounded by campaign volunteers in 2015 shortly before she became premier. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | If you go by Elections Alberta's figures, there really isn't a third political party in Alberta any more.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 23
Calgary-Fish Creek UCP MLA Richard Gotfried. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It's not a coincidence this law is being proposed at a time when the government of Alberta intends to gut the Nursing Homes Act in the name of "reducing red tape."
Blog - Alberta Diary April 22
Alberta Labour Minister Jason Copping announcing the government's vaccine leave legislation yesterday. Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Never let it be said the United Conservative Party has done nothing worthwhile during the two years it's been in power in Alberta. Bill 71, passed yesterday, is proof.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 21
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday afternoon's COVID-19 update. Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | What the Kenney government is really not interested in is affordable, accessible child care oriented to the needs of children and parents, not profit, privatization, and market ideology.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 19
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and Royal consort, as seen all week on the Government of Alberta's web page. Image: Government of Alberta screenshot
David J. Climenhaga | The monarchy has been weaponized by the right -- in Britain and in Canada.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 16
Conservative Party of Canada Leader Erin O'Toole. Image credit: Erin O'Toole/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Whether or not the prideful and inflexible Jason Kenney likes it, carbon taxes are coming to Canada in some form, no matter which party forms the next government.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 15
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney displays the speculative agreement he had just signed promising to promote "small modular reactors." Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | After a feasibility study, four Conservative provincial governments have now signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the advancement of an unproven and expensive technology.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 13
Alberta Speaker Nathan Cooper is really sorry about signing that letter criticizing Premier Jason Kenney's COVID-19 policy. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | From #Kudatah to anti-vaxx: what is it about right-wing mobs in Alberta and their chants of "lock 'er up"?
Blog - Alberta Diary April 12
Protesters on the road in front of GraceLife Church. Image credit: Gracelife Church of Edmonton/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta politicians and police seem uncharacteristically solicitous of the rights of the COVID-denying protesters.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 9
Nathan Cooper, Speaker of the Alberta legislature. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The Speaker of the Alberta legislature sailed very close to the wind when he lent his name to a letter signed by a group of dissident government MLAs opposed to COVID-19 restrictions.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 8
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney during Tuesday's COVID-19 news conference. Image: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | This rebellion makes Jason Kenney look weak. It suggests the natural state of the right in Alberta is to be divided between a far-right social conservative fringe and a true centre-right party.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 7
Front of the Gracelife Church building in January 2021. Image: Gracelife Church of Edmonton/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | RCMP personnel fenced off GraceLife Church in Parkland County southwest of Edmonton this morning for repeated violations of COVID-19 public health restrictions.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 7
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's COVID-19 news conference. Image credit: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Missing from the Alberta premier's news conference yesterday was the usual Ottawa-bashing, presumably because vaccine supplies are now flowing to provinces faster than they can get them into arms.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 6
University of Calgary education professor Sarah Eaton, who studies academic accountability and ethics. Image: Screenshot of Youtube video
David J. Climenhaga | "How do you teach students ethical conduct when the people preparing the curriculum are violating it?"
Blog - Alberta Diary April 5
Health Minister Tyler Shandro. Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Taking initiative to save yourself and your family is apparently frowned upon in the UCP's Alberta, particularly if it means curtailing your shopping or dining out over a long weekend.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 31
Mart Kenney conducting during a musical performance. Image: Still from "Canada Calling" documentary/NFB
David J. Climenhaga | Getting Premier Jason Kenney's grandfather, forgotten big band conductor Mart Kenney, into the Alberta Grade 6 curriculum's unit on music has struck a sour note.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 30
Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announces the curriculum changes yesterday morning. Image: Screenshot of Alberta Government video
David J. Climenhaga | The draft is so far over the top one has to wonder if it's evidence of someone's pathological urge to get away with something monumentally outrageous just so they could say they did.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 29
Former Alberta premier Ralph Klein playing golf with Dan MacLennan, president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees during part of Klein's term in office. Image: Dan MacLennan
David J. Climenhaga | It would be useful to still have Ralph Klein, who died on this day in 2013, around to get his take on Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party. It likely wouldn't be entirely complimentary.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 28
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Maybe it's time to bring back a line from those whispery-voiced Albertans for Change "attack ads" from 2008 that made premier Ed Stelmach so mad? Jason Kenney. No plan. No way!

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